Facing elimination in the first round of the postseason, the San Diego Padres rallied to win Game 2 of their NL Wild Card Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday. The Padres stormed back for a 11-9 win in typical 'Slam Diego' fashion.
In the sixth inning, Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. knocked a three-run homer off Cards reliever Giovanny Gallegos. Third baseman Manny Machado followed suit with a solo shot of his own in the next at-bat, to tie the game at 6-6. Machado's 414-foot home run registered a 110.4 mph exit velocity and Tatis knocked his 377-foot blast with a 103.3 mph exit velocity.
It was a sign of things to come.
Veteran Wil Myers got in on the homer fun when he led off the seventh inning with a solo blast to give San Diego its first lead of the series, at 7-6. Four batters later with Tatis back at the plate, the 21-year-old wunderkind slammed his second home run of the game, a two-run shot to extend the lead to 9-7. He enjoyed the moment with an emphatic bat flip.
Myers added another long ball -- and two more insurance runs -- with a shot to straightaway center field in the eighth inning. The blast was ultimately one of the hardest hit balls in the game, with a 107.1 mph exit velocity.
Myers shot was necessary for San Diego, since Paul Goldschmidt homered for the Cardinals in the ninth, and it was historic. Tatis and Myers became just the second pair of teammates to record multi-homer games in the same postseason contest. The pair they joined? Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig of the 1932 Yankees.
All together, the Padres' five home runs Thursday night are tied for the second-most by a MLB team in the postseason. The only team that recorded more were the Chicago Cubs (six home runs) in Game 3 of the 2015 NLDS.
Possibly even more impressive, as MLB's Sarah Langs points out, is the fact that San Diego became the first team in postseason history with five or more home runs from the sixth inning onward in a game.
No team recorded more comeback wins during this year's abbreviated 60-game season than the Padres, and they've now added another to the resume with Thursday's win. It may have taken a game-and-a-half, but the Padres have finally announced their presence on the October stage and Friday's Game 3 will be the decider to see if they're going to stay.